Politics in Minutes (2016)

One-party state

Adistinguishing feature of all totalitarian governments is their intolerance of most forms of opposition. This is manifest in attitudes to free speech and freedom of the press and media, but most obvious in countries that have adopted some type of single-party system of government. This can be the effective quashing of opposition, while maintaining a facade of multiparty democracy, by a dominant party that controls and manipulates the electoral system or intimidates its opponents by force. Or it can be an outright one-party state, legitimized by its constitution, which outlaws all but the ruling party. Totalitarian regimes are generally strongly nationalistic, and the one-party state is most often justified on the grounds of national unity, or to represent the interest of the majority population. There are also ideological justifications, such as the Marxist belief that political parties other than the communist party represent the interests of capitalism and are inimical to the interests of the state, or the religious justification that a particular party or faction has a divine right to rule.